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Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many public consultations his Department has conducted in the last 12 months; how long each consultation was open for; how many responses were received in each case; and what the cost of conducting each consultation was. 
Mr. Michael Foster: The Department for International Development (DFID) has run 22 public consultations on its website during the last 12 months. The consultations were open for at least 12 weeks, as set out in the government guidance on public consultations. Information on responses and expenditure on public consultations is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Scott: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department spent on (a) standard and (b) business class rail travel in each of the last three financial years. 
|Total rail expenditure (£)|
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will place in the Library a copy of the Stakeholder surveyworking across Whitehall, produced by PricewaterhouseCoopers for his Department in 2008, reference number 200708205. 
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department spent on staff surveys in each of the last five years; and which companies were contracted to carry out the surveys. 
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much (a) the World Bank, (b) multilateral development banks and (c) other international finance organisations have spent on (i) alternative sources of energy, (ii) energy efficiency and (iii) adaptation to climate change in developing countries in each of the last two years; what proportion of this spending was from funds provided by the UK; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Michael Foster:
An internationally agreed definition of what constitutes spending on (iii) adaptation to climate change does not currently exist, and the international financial institutions do not have publicly available
estimates of their own spending in this area for the last two years. The Department for International Development (DFID) is working with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Development Assistance Committee (DAC) to develop a methodology for collecting statistics from donors on support to adaptation.
The World Bank Group recently reported $476 million of lending to renewable energy projects, and $1,192 billion to energy efficiency for the year ending 30 June 2008. Disaggregated data are not available for the previous year. Together, this represents 35 per cent. of total World Bank Group energy sector lending for 2008.
The Asian Development Banks (ADB) investments in alternative sources of energy for the last two years are $121 million in 2007 and $1,152 billion in 2008. ADBs investments in energy efficiency for the last two years are $547 million in 2007 and $547 million in 2008.
The Inter-American Development Banks (IADB) lending and investments in low carbon programmes, including alternative energy and energy efficiency, totalled $960 million in 2008.
For the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), data from 2007 (the only year for which we have accurate data) shows that of total energy sector lending of €1.020 billion, 67 per cent. went to clean energy activities, mainly energy efficiency.
It is not possible to state what percentage of spend by the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) on clean energy projects is as a result of UK funding. MDB projects are funded through a variety of sources, including funds leveraged through their capital resources and lending and funding through concessional windows like the International Development Association (IDA), to which donors contribute directly.
To support implementation of Taking Action: The UK's strategy for tackling HIV and AIDS in the developing world by HMG by increasing coherence across Government Departments.
To exchange information about policy initiatives and directions related to Taking Action The UK's strategy for tackling HIV and AIDS in the developing world.
To identify opportunities for closer co-operation across departments to maintain UK and International political momentum, provide briefing, and consider new policy directions.
To link with existing Whitehall co-ordination mechanisms including the Access to Medicines Working Group.
These terms of reference are currently being revised to make explicit the Group's role in monitoring the commitments set out in the UK Government's updated AIDS strategy Achieving Universal Access launched in June 2008. It is expected that the revised terms of reference will be agreed at the next meeting of the Cross-Whitehall Working Group on tackling AIDS in the developing world.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps the Government has taken to prevent the spread of AIDS-related illnesses in third world countries in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: In June 2008 the UK Government launched Achieving Universal Access the UKs strategy for halting and reversing the spread of HIV in the developing world. This reaffirms the UKs global leadership on AIDS, including through a commitment to spend £6 billion over seven years to 2015 to strengthen health systems and services. This is in addition to the UK Governments long-term commitments of £1 billion (2007-15) to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Preventing people from becoming infected with HIV is our best hope of stopping the epidemic and related illnesses. Achieving Universal Access sets out how the UK will intensify prevention efforts that have proven to be effective, such as prevention of mother-to-child transmission, family planning and reducing the harm from injecting drug use. The strategy recognises that an effective response to AIDS also requires action outside the health sector. The UK government is therefore committed to a multisectoral response to AIDS that includes action in education, social protection and justice.
Achieving Universal Access the UKs strategy for halting and reversing the spread of HIV in the developing world was published on 2 June 2008 and is available on the Department for International Development (DFID) website
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will place in the Library a copy of the Policy note on economic growth and job creation for donor conference, Kosovo commissioned from the University of Manchester in 2008, reference numbers 200808402 and 200808318. 
Mr. Michael Foster:
At the Sharm el Sheikh conference, the international donor community agreed that aid to Gaza should be delivered in line with core humanitarian principles and through existing international and regional mechanisms. There are established mechanisms for aid delivery in Gaza, such as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency and the European Commission's PEGASE. The UK will continue to use these and also continue to fund non-governmental organisations with staff on the
ground to meet immediate humanitarian needs and rebuild critical infrastructure such as homes, schools and hospitals.
On 1 March, the Secretary of State for International Development pledged £30 million for recovery in Gaza. The pledge includes a new £20 million provision and £10 million from the support announced in January. This brings the UK response to the recent conflict in Gaza to £46.8 million. Of this we have already allocated nearly £16 million.
Joan Ryan: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what reports his Department has received on the number of bombings of civilian hospitals in the Vanni region in Sri Lanka; what assessment his Department has made of the humanitarian impact of these attacks; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Michael Foster: The Department for International Development (DFID) has received public reports from the United Nations (UN) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Because of the restrictions on access, it is not possible to provide accurate details of the number of bombings. We deplore the reported attacks on hospitals and the other incidents of civilian casualties in Sri Lanka. We have repeatedly called on both the Sri Lankan Government and the separatists to end hostilities, allow full humanitarian access and respect humanitarian law; which prohibits attacks on medical facilities. We applaud and support the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in evacuating some 2,000 wounded civilians but condemn the necessity for doing so.
Joan Ryan: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of conditions for civilians in government welfare villages in Sri Lanka; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Michael Foster: The Department for International Development (DFID) has been unable to make our own first-hand assessment because although we have sent humanitarian staff to Sri Lanka for this purpose, the Sri Lankan Government have refused permission for them to travel to the conflict area.
According to secondary sources, the Sri Lankan Government have not provided welfare villages for displaced civilians but transit camps, using buildings such as schools and community centres. Reports indicate that these sites are overcrowded, have a large government military presence and impose very restricted movement. However, it is also reported that their management is now improving, with water, sanitation, food and other necessities being provided.
With other Governments and the United Nations, we have repeatedly pressed the Sri Lankan Government and the separatists to allow unrestricted humanitarian
access, to reach an urgent ceasefire and ensure full protection and relief for the civilian population. We have committed £5 million in humanitarian aid to support the protection and relief work of the International Red Cross, the United Nations and other agencies.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when the pause on the construction of an airport on the island of St. Helena commenced; when it will finish; what its purpose is; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Michael Foster: We announced on 8 December 2008, Official Report, columns WS46-47 that there will be a pause in negotiations over the St. Helena airport contract. We are reviewing whether it is right to proceed with this project in the present difficult economic climate. We will announce the outcome of our considerations as soon as we are able to.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what effect the exchange rate between the euro and sterling has had on the pause currently in force on the construction contract of an airport for the island of St. Helena. 
Mr. Michael Foster: The St. Helena airport tender called for bids in up to four international currencies. The 30 per cent. drop in the value of the UK pound against the euro since the bids were submitted in November 2007 has served to increase the likely out-turn cost of the project.
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